Anyway, for those who don't know, the lovely lady pictured above is my fabulous friend Faith, a.k.a. the Book Babe. And in addition to her being the most amazing mentor and cheerleader EVER--and offering incredible editing services--she is also an AMAZING source for book recommendations. In fact, I discovered several of my favorite authors because of Faith--and nothing makes me happier than one of her gushy emails telling me about a book I HAVE to read. (She seriously has impeccable taste).
So Faith occasionally puts together spotlights on some of her favorite authors for me to post for you guys, so she can tell you herself why you need to discover these incredible authors.
And so, without further ado, I give you The Book Babe:
James Owen: A Leviathan of Pop Culture Cleverly Disguised As An Unassuming Author
My first introduction to James was, as was the norm as a book buyer, through the publisher's Fall catalog. The cover for Here There Be Dragons was beautiful and the premise seemed interesting, so I ordered it.
We booked him for a signing in December, along with Stephenie Meyer. The idea was to give our customers the opportunity to get signed books as Holiday Presents. We knew that by pairing a first time author with one as popular as Stephenie, James would do well. What we did not know was that James came with his own fan base. As my co-worker and I ran around selling t-shirts for Stephenie, making sure there were enough books and generally keeping the event running smoothly, I noticed that the line for James was consistant. It was not huge, no more than 6 or 7 at a time, but it did not seem to lessen at all. Two hours later, when Stephenie was done, James was still signing and drawing in books. I was totally impressed and decided to move his book to the top of my To-Be-Read pile.
Over the course of the next couple of years, my adoration of James grew. Not only is he hilarious, sweet, a wonderful storyteller and fun to be around, he also gave some of the best school presentations. So good, in fact, that there are only a handful of authors who are his equal. His school presentations were so amazing and inspiring that, after much prompting by satisfied librarians, teachers and other educators, he decided to turn it into a book. The book, entitled Drawing Out the Dragons, is the incredible true story of a person overcoming a variety of obstacles and challenges in order to achieve his dreams. I HIGHLY recommend every single person in the world read it!
I don't recall the exact moment James dubbed me and Bethany "Book Babes," but it was a name we both took to immediately. Even though I cherished the name, I did not put much stock into it other than being a fun thing among friends. Then, in 2009, I was diagnosed with cancer and the meaning of the term grew in significance. At the time of my diagnosis, I was uninsured and James, along with numerous friends, came together to throw a fundraiser so I could "afford" to have cancer. Thus came Project Book Babe and the weight of the name increased dramatically. Thanks to event, there are many in the book industry who know me as The Book Babe and it's a name I revere above all others. The privilege of the Book Babe moniker is one that continues to grow thanks to James. I consider it an honor to be in the company of other amazing Book Babes like Bethany, Victoria Morris, Brandi Stewart, and many other incredible women. My life would not be the same without James or the title of Book Babe; I will cherish it and him for the rest of my life.
Oh, and go to his website and get yourself a copy of Drawing Out the Dragons, you will not be disappointed.
And because Faith is amazing, and wants to make it as easy as possible for you guys to discover Janette's books, she's donated a copy of James' first book, HERE THERE BE DRAGONS, which I'm giving away to one lucky winner.
To enter, simply leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm PST on Saturday, May 19th. I'll draw one random winner and post their name on Sunday, May 20th. International entries welcome. I also *recommend* you follow my blog/feed in some way/shape/form--not because I'm trying to make you my minion, but because I don't have time to email winners, so if you miss when I post your name and never contact me, I give your prize to someone else. Up to you!